Saturday, June 20, 2009


The story spread quickly... Another hate crime, the death of a young post-op.... It was first reported on the transgender site Laura's Playground:

I am having a very difficult time right now. I am a moderator on another site and we have a Forum and we have a Chat. Raychel ‘Roo’ was 18 in March. She died in intensive care last night. One of our teen Moderators, she lived in New York and was a post op teenage girl, and a dancer. She was headed to the Juliette School in the Fall. Now she is dead.

Her father was killed and her mother lost her arm in a terrible car crash last month. At one of the trials on this, one of the lawyers outed her. Her town had a very negative reaction.

She had life threats, she and her mother. The police had them under protective surveillance. The police left at noon yesterday. By two o’clock she was assulted. Last night she died.

She rode her bike to go to the store. She never came home. They found her bike in a dumpster. Late that evening they found her. She had been assaulted with a sledge hammer, they think, judging from the bruises all over her body. Her knee caps had been broken. She had been gang raped. They buried her alive.

She worked her way out of the almost grave and crawled for three hours to get help. She was put in the ICU and given little chance to survive. Last night she died.

The facts are skimpy, speculation reigns. Supposedly kids from a nearby school came after her in a van. There were no fingerprints. She had no semen after the rapes so it shows premeditation as they used condoms. She was so beat-up her organs just went into shock and she died.

Our whole group is sick and horrified. I am having a difficult time just writing this. I need to for two reasons, to tell her story and to say ‘please be careful!’ Last night we lost a sister, and one of our own.

I first saw the story on Bilerico and I immediately suspected that something was amiss. For one thing, there was the fact that the story had not appeared in any news reports. In spite of the suggestion by Tobi Hill-Meyer that the media migh ignore such a story, that was the first problem I had with the the report. Second, was the suggestion that an 18 year old might be a post-op. That is possible, but somewhat unlikely. Then finally, there was the over the top part about her digging her way out of her "almost grave" and crawling for three hours. The whole thing just did not ring true.

Well, apparently it isn't. Laura's Playground has pulled the story, admitting that it is almost certainly a hoax. Other transgender sites, including Woman Born Transsexual have also admitted to being duped. Tobi Hill-Meyer seems to be the lone hold-out, admitting that there are questions, but refusing to admit that it is a hoax, reasserting the silly claim that such a story might be deliberately ignored by the media.

If, by some chance, any part of the story is true, it would, of course, be a complete tragedy. On the other hand, if as appears to be very likely, it is a hoax, then it is a truly sick one. In any case, this is an example of the sort of problems that can arise. A hoax can be spread quickly. People can easily be sucked in by the most outrageous of stories. Anytime you see something like this, you need to stop and question it.


Anonymous said...

This is reminiscent of ASSRS and the pronouncements of a certain cross dresser’s death……..

Just Jennifer said...

Yes, I actually thought about that when I was reading Andrea James' take on the story.